After leaving Bakersfield at 7:00 a.m. and carpooling to the Valencia Peak Trailhead which is in Montana De Oro State Park we will need to set up a shuttle to the Coon Creek Trailhead which is around a mile up the road. Once we all arrive at the Coon Creek Trailhead we will then start hiking up Coon Creek Canyon which is described as an easy two miles “lush riparian corridor” lined with willows, maples, cottonwoods, coast live oak, and a cypress grove”. I say easy because the elevation gain during this section of the trail is only 250 feet. After two miles we will than head north up a moderately steep trail to Oaks Peak which is 1,373 feet high. For those who would prefer a more casual day of hiking I would recommend you head back down the trail and then head over to either the Point Buchon Trail or the Montana De Oro Bluff trail which are both flat trails and located within short walking distance from the Coon Creek Trailhead…or…you can come back via the Rattlesnake Flats Trail which also ends at the Valencia Peak and then hike the Montana De Oro bluff and wait for the rest of us to finish the loop trail via the Valencia Peak Trail. The Rattlesnake Flats loop trail route is around five miles.
The Coastline along the Buchon Bluff trail
For those of us who are climbing Oaks Peak we will then hike “down” the trail headed towards Valencia Peak trail. We will than climb back “up” the moderately steep trail to Valencia Peak which is 1,347 feet. Between the two peaks I estimate the elevation gain is somewhere in the neighborhood of 2000 to 2500 feet. I am not sure of the exact elevation gain between the two peaks because this particular “route” is not listed in any of my guide books. After reaching Valencia Peak and enjoying the views of the ocean and surrounding mountains we will then head back down the trail back to our shuttle destination at the Valencia Peak trailhead. I estimate the round trip loop trail to be around 11 miles…Once we arrive back at the trailhead we can then either do a short hike on the Montana De Oro Bluff trail or Buchon Bluff Trail which is located just south of Montana De Oro. At the end of the day we can either come home or everyone is invited to join us for dinner in either Los Osos or Morro Bay.
Poppies along the trail to Valencia Peak
LIABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY statements:
*** WAIVER OF LIABILITY *** The Organizers and members in this group are not professional leaders, guides, or mountaineers. The function of the member or organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who shows up for a trip/meetup (and their guest or guests) is responsible for his or her own safety. By attending a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you and any guests that you bring are aware that Kern River Valley Hiking Club events involve risks, and could result in injury, illness, death, and damage or loss of property. The dangers include but are not limited to: the hazards of traveling in remote areas without medical services or care, the forces of nature, the inherent dangers involved in participation in sports, wilderness travel, and social activities, and the negligent actions of other persons or agencies. You agree to freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards. You further agree to release and discharge the Organizers, Members of the Kern River Valley Hiking Club - Tulare-Kern Peakbags & Hikes from and against any and all liability arising from your participation in the group activities.
*** PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY *** No one in the group is a guide or in any way responsible for your comfort or safety. Please be prepared with adequate gear and supplies for the trip. Please remember that going out into wilderness has risks associated with it and you should be aware and prepared to address any changes in weather, road conditions or to look out for/avoid random acts of nature, including insects, wild animals and natural hazards. It is your responsibility to evaluate the difficulty of any activity you participate in, and decide whether you are prepared by having the experience, skill, knowledge, equipment, and the physical and emotional stamina to safely participate.